Alessia Russo explains why she needed to “take the next step” by joining Arsenal Women

Some fans must wonder what compelled one of the best strikers in English womens football, Alessia Russo, to quit Manchester United for Arsenal. Yes, the Arsenal women had already demonstrated their desire for her services earlier in the year when they were willing to make her the most expensive women’s transfer ever.

But what compelled her to join them in the summer?
Russo saw her Manchester United deal end in the summer. She could have joined any team she wanted or she could have even stayed at United. The Red Devils are a decent team in their own right that some aspire to play for. Nonetheless, the Lionesses’ striker reveals that the opportunity to transfer to Arsenal, which has made progress in the women’s game, seemed like she was taking the next step, since she feels she has lapsed into a comfort zone at Manchester United.
“I felt so comfortable. I’ve got some of my best friends in Manchester. I know I’ve still got them as friends for life, which is great. But people go through it all the time; you have to step out of your comfort zone,” Russo told the Guardian.
“That’s what I had to do to make the next step. Football moves quickly, and within the blink of an eye, you find yourself somewhere else. That can be tough. But you are forced to settle in quickly, and things move so fast that you don’t even have too much time to think about it.
“I always feel like if you’re in the right place and you feel like you’ve got the right people around you, then the sky’s the limit. That’s kind of how I feel here. The people are special, and that was the most important thing for me. You get a feeling – you get almost a gut feeling – when you speak to people and have those conversations, and you just kind of have to roll with it.
“The way that [Arsenal] elevate the women’s game and the work they put into the women’s team is massive. It’s a special club; you can feel it as soon as you walk through the door.”
Russo is still trying to find her rhythm at Arsenal, especially in front of goal, having only scored twice in eight WSL games. Though even so, the Gooner Women have still felt her influence.
Arsenal women’s boss Jonas Eidevall has recently opted to maximize her technical abilities by using her as a playmaker, with Beth Mead favored as the No. 9, and she’s been a hit and proved she can play wherever she is asked..
Let’s hope that Russo is on top form today and Arsenal blow away Emma Hayes unbeaten Chelsea side.

Michelle Maxwell

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